A brief HISTORY of shift work.
As Shift Worker's we owe it all to Thomas Edison for inventing the light bulb.
Prior to this invention shift work was a rarity due to the need of seeing what you were doing.
Shift work has been around for the most of human history , but it was mainly limited to soldiers and sailors.
So really the main use of shift work has only been around for about a century.
In the late 1800's industrialists soon realized the benefits of shift work. If they ran operations around the clock equipment would be fully utilized. Production and profits would be maximized. This was quite evident in operations such as steel mills and iron foundries where shutting down and starting repeatedly was expensive and inefficient.
Henry Ford in the early 1900's introduced shift work into the auto industry to meet the rising automobile market.
During the First and Second World Wars much shift work was utilized to help the war effort.
After the Second World War shift work started to rapidly grow in many sectors. Many different kinds of production plants work on a 24 hour bases as well as the food and service industries. It is common place now to find gas stations and grocery stores open 24 hours per day. The latest growth industry using shift workers can be seen in the "Call Centre" industry, where information and products ordered can be done anytime of the day or night.
Shift Work is here to stay. There is too much money wrapped up in equipment and services for it to be abolished.
The unfortunate part is, shift work may be good for businesses but it takes it 's toll on workers and their families.